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Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Another local haunt
My first trip to Timberline Lodge would have been sometime in elementary school during a summertime day trip. This was also my last trip and a few months before an ill-advised , albeit heavily edited, viewing of The Shining on KPTV. I wasn't expecting any sort of reference or tribute to the movie/novel when I visited the lodge last week but I found this in the basement near a small museum:
No explanation needed, I guess. It speaks for itself. Uh, but where's the hedge maze?
Timberline Lodge is much, much smaller than I remember it. I was expecting to find an enormous, sprawling hotel along the lines of Yellowstone's epic Old Faithful Inn, complete with a ghostly legend worthy of that hotel's headless bride. Despite providing the exteriors for a certain Stanley Kubrick horror movie, I was unable to find any Timberline-related ghost stories while leeching off the lodge's Wi-Fi.
Still, I'm sure the main lobby is damn eerie at 3 AM in the middle of January, what with its wooden statues, large stone fireplace and windows obscured by an almost perpetual snowbank. In the mid-afternoon on a Saturday it was anything but. Teenagers were sprawled out across every nearly every surface of the main floor. The bar upstairs was packed. The doors of several hotel rooms were thrown open to subvert the lodge's overzealous heating system. There were even people in the pool outside, despite what had to be a sub-freezing wind chill factor.
For me, Timberline Lodge will forever be associated with memories of at least one sleepless night during childhood fueled by Jack Nicholson's Johnny Carson impression. It will forever be creepy but it's a great place to kill time drinking beer when you don't know how to ski and don't really have the inclination to learn.